Yosemite, Color in Gothic Lit, Polish Tango, Campfire Stories & More: Endnotes 13 August

Yosemite, Color in Gothic Lit, Polish Tango, Campfire Stories & More: Endnotes 13 August

Friday, 13 August, 2021

Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!

This post is part of our Endnotes series.


That charmingly retro photo above is of mighty Half Dome in Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The Park is known for its ancient forest of sequoia trees, the granite cliffs of El Capitan, and ol’ Half Dome up there. This majestic park is open again, albeit with limited services, required reservations, and rules about vaccinations and masking (YAY!). Here are 11 tips for visiting Yosemite, and a video from the National Park Service about hiking Half Dome that is equal parts inspiration and intimidation. They are not fooling around!

  • Why is English spelling so weird and unpredictable? (h/t to Clever Manka)

  • So much cute: 9 children’s book illustrators. (I love the work of Sophie Blackall.)

  • Not only did Ian Fleming write about espionage with his iconic character James Bond, he was in on it himself. (Related: Read a fictional account of Fleming’s work as a spy-maker in the thrilling novel Spitfire.)

  • Charming and articulate English actor (and writer and comedian) Stephen Fry weighs in on the importance of preserving the Brontë treasure trove found in the Honresfield Library, rather than allowing wealthy private collectors to take it at auction. The collection includes dozens of literary artifacts, including: ‘Walter Scott’s celebrated review of Jane Austen’s Emma, a first-edition copy of which sits in the library, too, alongside firsts of Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. While those alone are enough to glorify any library, it is Austen’s sparkling, gossipy letters to her sister, Cassandra, on which Janeites will fall like lions upon an antelope. But what most catches the eyes is the extraordinary trove of Brontëana. There are seven exquisitely produced miniature books written, illustrated, and bound by the teenage Charlotte, chronicling adventures in her imagined world of Glass Town. We have always known that, after Emily’s death, Charlotte found a notebook of her younger sister’s poetry, but it has been assumed that the verses themselves were irretrievably lost. Yet now here that notebook is, filled with 31 Emily Brontë poems in her own hand for academics and enthusiasts to pore and purr over.’

  • I will (not) be wearing a swimming cap like these when we visit Croatia later this month.
girls in bathing suits and vintage swimming caps printed with faces by a swimming pool
  • This online class (tomorrow!) looks so good: Jane Eyre and the Psychology of Resilience — with Astoria Wright. ‘No topic may be as important in Psychology as resilience – the ability to face adversity and remain mentally strong. But how exactly do we build that resilience? Few protagonists illustrate resilience better than Jane Eyre, an orphaned girl who overcame adversity to become an independent woman. In this class, expert Astoria Wright will help students explore Jane Eyre as a means to better understand how to build resilience in their own lives.’

  • Did you know that the US Library of Congress has a free bi-monthly magazine? It’s got fantastic photography and compelling stories about the Library’s collection.

  • Related: Newly available images from photographer Carol M. Highsmith who set out to ‘document all of America with her camera.’ (Here’s the entire archive of her photos.)

 the inside of a colorful restaurant featuring soda pop bottles in arcadia, oklahoma
Pops, a modernist store featuring a huge selection of soda pop in Arcadia, Oklahoma. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, 2020.

Here’s hoping you find something weird (but good) this week.

Top image courtesy of Josh Carter/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Chuck Wendig's new haunted house novel, 'the pavement surgeon,' where lost luggage goes, nerding-out with rare books, and more.
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